Fondue is not something to serve when meeting your in-laws for the first time, or having a business luncheon. Actually when my family first met much of my husband’s family, we did have a fondue dinner. But we had a good feeling everyone was going to get along just fine :) As many times as I have had fondue, one just cannot be polite. You have to reach over people. You are going to make a mess and get cheese everywhere. Remembering to keep your elbows off of the table is the least of your worries when you accidentally drip melted cheese into the wine glass of the person next to you (ok, I’m a little bit of a klutz). But it’s ok, because everyone knows that each bite will be delicious.
December seems to be the month for moving. For example, Kamran recently moved his blog to a fabulously gorgeous new site. My move is well, less blog related and a bit more physical. Well, it is blog related. Because in just a few short weeks I will be blogging to you from a completely different country! Not just a different country, but a different continent even! And I made fondue to celebrate and announce it to you all Ha can you guess which country? Yes, Switzerland! The wonderful land of cheese and chocolate, gorgeous scenery, and fabulous bread. We are so excited!
I have no idea how easy or difficult it is going to be to be gluten free for my husband in Europe. But I definitely am going to not feel guilty enjoying delicious bread when he can’t, hehe. I have no clue what type of kitchen setup I will have, and what appliances/electrics we will be able to get (since there is no point in shipping over a food processor designed for an American voltage, etc), so we are packing light. Bialetti stovetop espresso maker, ONE cookbook, and our Santoku. Oh and I might order these combined measuring/scale cups and scoops to take with me too. Not even bringing any pots or pans! Why just one cookbook? Because transporting things across an ocean is expensive, and I have this blog as a great record for myself for recipes and links to some of my favorite foodies. I want one book though, so that I can have something for instructions and technique, ideas so that I can effectively use what I learn to create new recipes, etc. I’ve narrowed it down to five choices, after paring down from a list of about a dozen…
So check out the poll (either below or in the sidebar at the top of the page) – let me know which you think would be the most useful to have on hand. Have any ideas I didn’t think of? Let me know in the comments. It is with a heavy heart that I pack away my small library (seriously my cookbooks fill an entire freestanding shelf), including Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, my collection of Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free books, my entire 20-some volume set of Bon Appetit cookbooks (they might be as old as I am but they are awesome), my gorgeous Stonewall Kitchen books full of recipes so fitting for having grown up in New England, some of my fun chocolate books, and my entire Cuisine at Home magazine collection. It’s hard, but I have very limited space, and want the one book that is going to bring me the most value, reference, and utility.
But I am digressing. Back to fondue! Oh how I LOVE gruyere cheese in seriously anything. It has a sharp bite that just complements so many different flavors. It might just be my favorite cheese out there, next to raclette. But especially when combined with emmentaler and garlic and wine to make a rich creamy cheese sauce that is a good match for just about any food out there. My favorite happens to be dipping apples into cheese fondue. You don’t necessarily need a fondue pot to make fondue, just a saucepan on the stove will do, though it is useful to have something to keep the pot warm when you bring it to the table. This is a fairly basic recipe, but a classic. I don’t even have a recipe reference because my family has been making fondue ever since I can remember. The key is stir in a figure 8 motion constantly, and add everything a little bit at a time. Oh and use a quality cheese. Mass produced stuff that only costs only $3/lb. tastes like it too.
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
a little over 1 cup relatively dry white wine
8 oz. gruyere, grated
8 oz. emmentaler (think Swiss cheese, with the holes), grated
fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbs. cornstarch dissolved in a couple tbs. kirsch/brandy
white pepper to taste
1. Rub the garlic all over the inside of your pot. Most recipes tell you now you are done with the garlic. Go ahead and mince it and add it to the pot anyways.
2. Add a little over a cup of wine to the pot and bring to a simmer slowly (think med.). Handful by handful, stirring constantly in a figure-8 motion, gradually add in the cheeses.
3. Add some nutmeg and the cornstarch/kirsch mixture. Keep stirring until it all comes together in creamy deliciousness. Season with pepper. You don’t need to add salt because cheese is by nature quite salty. Consistency not right? Add a little more wine to thin, add a little more cheese to thicken. Enjoy!